Two days ago, the FTC released a report that showed just how fast Identity Thieves can obtain and use your identity. The study consisted of the FTC posting fake IDs on websites popular with Identity Thieves. It took nine minutes before the information attracted attention. There were at least 1,200 attempts to use the fake identities and the attempts ranged from trying to buy pizza to online dating subscriptions.
The report also advocated the use of two-factor authentication. While it isn’t a perfect system, it does help. Two-factor authentication is a system that uses two forms of verifying your identity in order to alleviate the issue of “easy” identity theft. For example, to login into one account you would be required to enter your password and a code that is sent to your phone. This form of authentication has been long established in the gaming community and has seen a recent surge of use in other industries, such as banking.
There is nothing that can be done to make your identity totally safe from theft, and despite the hassle many feel using two-factor authentication it is one of the better ways of protecting your identity.
See the report here.